Friday, July 21, 2017

Now Playing: A Little Princess

Perfect Picture Book Friday will return in September.
Until then,

Welcome to the Bookish Ambition 
Summer Drive-In

The Circle Drive-In from my childhood. Still open and now with double features on two screens!

Now Playing: A Little Princess
Written by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Illustration by Anna Bond
Puffin, a division of Penguin BFYR, 2014
Ages 8-12, reading level 4.8,  Lexile 250
320 pp, 66000 words

A Little Princess, Warner Bros, 1995
A Little Princess,
by Frances Hodgson Burnett, Cover by Anna Bond

Highlights from the book? 
  • interesting historical description
  • the Large family next door
  • the beggar child and the baker
  • satisfying ending

Highlights from the movie?
  • Miss Amelia and her romance
  • A gloriously happy ending
  • Heightened drama
  • Becky and Ermengarde

Once on a dark winter's day, when the yellow fog hung so thick and heavy in the streets of London that the lamps were lighted and the shop windows blazed with gas as they do at night, and odd-looking little girl sat in a cabin with her father and was driven rather slowly through the big thoroughfares.

Movie Trailer:
Note: This trailer has major movie spoilers.

I appreciate this well-scripted adaptation. Because that's what it feels like to me, an adaptation. The major alterations in the plot don't feel like they are there for cinematic drama alone, more like the writers had an agenda and made specific changes to carry those themes. For whatever reason, the movie focuses more on Sarah's emotional journey whereas the book focuses on her reaction to circumstances, I think. The book-Sarah effects social change and adapts to her circumstances. The movie-Sarah is transformed at her core, questioning accepted childhood beliefs and determining who she wants to become—what will be the hallmarks of her character.

I enjoy seeing this book come to life, the music, sets, casting. I am disappointed by some of the generic, stereotypical Indian bits, but hope watchers will be so entranced with India they will explore its diversity on their own. In a bit of savvy storytelling the script parallels Sarah's life and the stories she imagines. That's something kids do. It's pretty successful despite the awful special effects.

Skip ahead if you don't want to read any spoilers. The story takes place in America. The timeline is necessarily condensed. The students undergo some minor changes, but the adults suffer the most overhauls. Sarah's past and future are drastically changed. Her relationship with her father is completely reworked. Again, these changes all felt deliberate and make for good cinema.

Overall, I don't recommend the movie as a substitute for the book and I definitely recommend reading the original FIRST. Then enjoy the movie with your family.

Reminisce with intermission commercials
from Captain Bijou on You Tube.
Visit Our Snackbar!

What would the drive-in be like without the snack bar?

Twizzlers!.......need I say more?

Chef De Home has combined the great taste of Twizzlers with trail mix ingredients for a fun Road Trip Snack Cone, perfect for picnics or the drive-in.

If you've gotten addicted to Oreos during intermission (see the BFG post) then try my daughter's childhood favorite: Strawberry milk with a Twizzler straw. Be sure to pick a licorice piece where the hole goes all the way through and guzzle the double strawberry goodness.

Nostalgic for a drive-in movie? There are over 5,000 drive-in theaters across the U.S. mapped for you on Cinema Treasures.

It's a Jeep thing, you wouldn't understand.
I don't even consider it a night at the drive-in if I don't have my CJ with the top off.
Some drive-ins even have "Jeep night." Look for an event at a location near you.
Take along a gorgeous vintage Jeep cooler from Jeep Gear  and a half dozen bottles of Throwback Pepsi...ahhh.

Have you seen any screen adaptations of A Little Princess? What's your opinion?
Have you reviewed the book? Please leave the link in the comments below. Thanks!

View all the Summer Drive-In reviews for 2017.
Check out the Marvelous Middle Grade Monday review of A Little Princess, coming July 24, 2017.

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